Out of Their Minds – Clifford Simak (1970)

I’ve always liked Clifford Simak novels for their outright quirkiness. Over the years, I’ve read a number where things get pretty strange (usually with strange alien), but at the same time dealt with from the point of view of a down to Earth, common folk, protagonist. Going by the title alone, “Out of Their Minds” promised to deliver another wild ride.

I confess that the start is pretty lackluster and despite some strange things happening at the outset, I was beginning to question whether this was going to be an uninspiring novel. But after the first few chapters to set the tone, the ‘wild ride’ I originally envisioned came to fruition.

A TV news reporter goes back to his small hometown on sabbatical to write a book. But just as he is about to arrive, he runs into a dinosaur in the middle of the road. And things get weird from there. All the unexplainable occurrences are due to mankind’s adoption of eccentric sayings and folklore tales. It appears that those beliefs play havoc in the netherworld and the Devil himself is having a hard time coping with these beliefs. So the Devil starts interfering in our world which results in the head on collision for our protagonist.

Some of the other eccentricities he deals with are comic book characters come to life and a cleansed version of the battle of Gettysburg. All good fun.

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3 Responses to “Out of Their Minds – Clifford Simak (1970)”

  1. Joachim Boaz Says:

    I love Simak (although I haven’t read this one)…. Does it have hillbillies?!? haha — Simak’s works always seem to have hillbillies (not why I enjoy them).

    What’s your favorite? His most underrated?

    His most underrated has to be Cemetery World — for its “outright quirkiness”…

    I think City is his best novel thought — I suspect many would agree.

  2. lazaruslair Says:

    Although it has been decades since I’ve read it, City has always stood out as his best novel.

    And yes this one has hillbillies… of a sort. You’ll have to read it to see what I mean.

  3. Joachim Boaz Says:

    I was somewhat underwhelmed by The Way Station — although it won the Hugo that year.

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